Fujairah Weekly Oil Inventory Data Stock Level as of Aug. 21, 2017

Fujairah Weekly Oil Inventory Data Stock Level as of Aug. 21, 2017

Chart Attribute: Fujairah Weekly Oil Inventory Data (as of Aug 21, 2017) / Source: The Gulf Intelligence

Chart Attribute: Fujairah Weekly Oil Inventory Data (as of Aug 21, 2017) / Source: The Gulf Intelligence

Fujairah's commercial stocks of refined oil products fell 8.1% to 20.685 million barrels in the week to Monday, sinking to a nine-week low. The decline in total stock levels was on the back of large draws in inventories of middle and heavy distillates, which both fell to their lowest level in more than two months, data released Wednesday by the Fujairah Energy Data Committee (FEDCom) showed.

However, stocks of light distillates, predominantly gasoline and naphtha, rose by 371,000 barrels, or 5.8%, to 6.787 million barrels, remaining close to the average for the past six weeks of 6.64 million barrels. While the Asian gasoline market remained steady, the Middle East gasoline market continued to find near-term support from tighter supply both east and west of Suez due to a spate of fires at key refineries.

In particular, the PetroChina refinery in Dalian, China, and the GS Caltex refinery at Yeosu, South Korea, were expected to reduce gasoline output for a period following recent incidents, mainly affecting supply in the Asian market.

The fire last Thursday at the Dalian refinery in northeastern China, one of the country's largest, broke out in the plant's 1.4 million mt/year residue fluid catalytic cracker, which produces mainly gasoline. The Caltex refinery, South Korea's second largest, shut a heavy oil upgrading unit August 10 after a fire broke out in the 66,000 b/d vacuum residue hydro cracker at its complex in Yeosu, resulting in a loss of light and middle distillate production capacity.

That confluence of events could potentially draw more gasoline barrels eastwards from the Middle East and India, reversing the previous stock build in light distillates seen at Fujairah over the previous three weeks.

First month/second month time spreads for Arab Gulf gasoline 95 swaps were at a firmer backwardation, up to $1.77/b this week -- the strongest seen so far this year.

Chart Attribute: Fujairah Weekly Oil Inventory Data (Jan 9-Aug 21, 2017) / Source: The Gulf Intelligence

Chart Attribute: Fujairah Weekly Oil Inventory Data (Jan 9-Aug 21, 2017) / Source: The Gulf Intelligence


PERNIS ARBITRAGE PULL PETERS OUT


Stocks of middle distillates at Fujairah totaled 3.187 million barrels on Monday, a 10-week low, following a sharp 21.1% drop week on week. Local sources cited strong demand from the Persian Gulf region as the main driver for the 852,000 barrels draw. That was most likely to have been related to continued high temperatures throughout the region extending the summer peak demand period for electricity to run air conditioning. That may have caused some Arab states with insufficient gas supplies to turn to diesel and gasoil as short-term fuels for power generation. 

Interest to move arbitrage volumes of gasoil and jet fuel to Europe has cooled. The temporary pull created by the recent outage at the Pernis refinery in the Netherlands has now ended. The East-West Gasoil exchange of futures for swaps was pegged Tuesday at the lowest level seen so far this month, indicating no arbitrage opportunity to move gasoil west. At the same time, the Asian gasoil market was seen as oversupplied due to weaker seasonal diesel demand in a number of countries.

The first month/second-month time spread for Arab Gulf gasoil swaps was pegged at 3 cents/b Tuesday and could flip into contango if the current oversupply in Asia persists.

U.S. Energy Information Administration data last Wednesday showed jet fuel inventories on the east coast dropped to their lowest level since November 2015. The pull from the US market could draw Asian barrels across the Pacific to the US West Coast, while also keeping Middle Eastern barrels east of Suez due to a tightening Asian market.


SEASONAL CUSP


Fujairah's stocks of heavy distillates and residues, which make up more than half the oil product volumes stored at the UAE Arabian Sea port, fell 1.348 million barrels, or 11.2%, a week on week to a 12-week low at 10.711 million barrels. Stock levels remained close to totals seen in recent weeks.

The week's substantial draw was attributed mainly to a number of fuel oil shipments to Pakistan. Local sources said such shipments accounted for up to half the recent volume departing from Fujairah.

Pakistan State Oil has seven cargoes of 180 CST high-sulfur fuel oil of 65,000 mt each tendered for August loading from Fujairah, with another five tendered for September. The September total was lower due to an expected seasonal downturn in power demand in Pakistan, as in the Middle East, as sweltering summer temperatures start to cool.

Demand for bunker fuel in Fujairah was reported as improving in recent days, after weeks of being seen as lackluster. Fujairah 380 CST delivered bunkers were assessed at a premium of $2.50-$3.00/mt over Singapore this past week, having been at a discount for most of the previous month. The first month/second month time spread for Arab Gulf 180 CST HSFO swaps was pegged at a backwardation of 35 cents/mt.

Sentiment in the Singapore fuel-oil market was tentative amid uncertainty over September arbitrage supply. Supply from the Middle East was seen rising in September as power generation demand eases from its summer peak. Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., in particular, was expected to offer additional straight run fuel oil via tender. ADNOC should be well positioned to make such offers as a January fire at its 800,000 b/d Ruwais refinery, the Middle East's largest, severely damaged a residue fluid catalytic cracking unit, with the result that refinery yields have shifted toward the heavier end until repairs are completed in 2019.

S&P Global Platts estimated about 230,000 mt/month of gasoline production capacity was lost at Ruwais due to the fire, which would mean a substantially increased yield of fuel oil if crude processing remained constant. The full effect of the lengthy repairs at Ruwais may be about to become apparent in the region as Middle East fuel oil demand was expected to begin its seasonal downturn in September. That could lead to increased fuel oil stock levels later in the year.


About the S&P Global Platts and FOIZ Fujairah Data Project:


The government of Fujairah in 2016 announced a plan to publish weekly data on refined products held at onshore commercial terminals at Fujairah as part of its effort to position the Indian Ocean port as a global oil trading and storage. It appointed S&P Global Platts to distribute the weekly inventory data. FEDCom was established by the Fujairah Oil Industry Zone to collect, verify and distribute inventory data to replicate the data sets provided at other global trading centers such as Singapore and Rotterdam.Fujairah has about 41.5 million barrels of commercial oil product land storage available for leasing.

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Gulf Intelligence is a strategic communications & research firm effective across the full value-chain of the Middle East Energy Sector – we facilitate knowledge exchange and advance the business interests of national and international stakeholders operational in the regional industry.
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